Glass cabinets containing medals and old photos of soldiers, sailors and airmen now line the walls of Penrith RSL as a permanent reminder of our wartime history.
The new war memorial display, which is situated in the RSL’s foyer, was officially unveiled on Wednesday by Federal Veteran Affairs Minister, Warren Snowden.
“This is for the community, yes it has got the names of people who paid the ultimate sacrifice, but it is about making sure the current generations and future understand why,” Mr Snowden said.
“We collectively have a challenge… how can we make sure the RSL remains relevant to the younger people in our community?
“We need to make sure that people who weren’t in uniform understand [war] stories. This display tells us who we are.”
Much of the memorabilia was donated by sub-branch members and local residents, according to Penrith RSL director and Vietnam veteran, Paul Crofts.
“My identification card and dog tags are on display, along with other people’s flags and uniforms,” he said.
“My memorabilia was just sitting at home in the cupboard, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give it some good use.
“It can now be used to educate the younger generations on the war.”
The display is divided into sections representing parts of Australia’s military history including World War I and II.
The display was constructed by the Penrith RSL Sub-branch with the assistance of interior design students and staff at the Nepean Division of the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE.
“A huge amount of work has been put into developing this display as a tribute to past and present members of the Australian Defence Force,” said Lindsay MP, David Bradbury.
The Federal Government contributed $4,000 to this project under the ‘Saluting their Service’ program.